It’s something we all want to have. That is, the perfect client we have lots of fun working with and one that makes us a lot of money. That’s my definition of an A client…..and I hope it’s yours.
What about you? Do you even have a definition of your best client? If not, then read on and we’ll explore some really easy and important things for you to do.
Define your “A” client.
I want you to start here. You may have an idea of who your best client is and that’s great. If you have or don’t have a definition I want you to answer these questions:
- Who are the clients you make the most money with – get actual names.
- Who are the clients you have the most fun working with – again, get actual names.
- Cross reference the two lists.
- Write down everything you can think of about the names that appear on both lists. This means who they are, where they hang out, what their education is, how much they spend with you, what are their professions, what are their personalities like…..you get the idea. The more you write down, the better your definitions become.
- Write down what the problems are that you solve for each of these types of people.
- Write down the ways you’ve helped this group take advantage of opportunities they’ve had.
Now you have a system for not only choosing who your right clients are, you have an idea of who these people are (personas) and what the problems and opportunities you help solve.
Understand how your firm fills this void.
You now know who your A client is. Your next job is to figure out how your firm helps these people get their problems solved and opportunities taken advantage of. This is hard work. You’re going to have to include others in your firm in this conversation. In the best of all worlds, you should also include your client advisory board (you do have one, don’t you?) in the conversation.
If you can’t figure out how you’re firm fills the void, then start thinking about how you’re firm could fill the void. What products and services can you bring to the table that will allow this group of people to know that you’re the firm for them?
You might even find that your firm now has a bunch of new potential revenue sources that you can use with your best clients. How does that strike you?
Have a communication strategy in place.
It doesn’t do you any good if you keep whom your perfect client is a secret. You need to tell the world. The best way to do this is through your website. When potential clients visit your website, you want those visitors to easily figure out if they’re right for your firm. You want your present best customers to know that when they visit your website that you’re talking to and about them.
A communication strategy goes past your website. What type of articles is your firm writing? Do you have a monthly newsletter? Do you let your best clients know who they are through your quarterly letters? How about public talks that you give? And, are you joining the clubs and hanging out in places where your best clients also hang out? If not, why not?
Learn how to say no.
This is the hardest part of the process. If you decide that you really want to pursue clients that are only “A” clients, then you have to learn to say no to everyone else. You have to have faith that if you actually do this; you’re going to have enough new business come through the door.
The challenge with this strategy is that in the first few years and yes I did say years, you might have to have a hybrid system. You’ll say yes to A and B clients and no to everyone else. Over time you can stop saying yes to B clients and then only say yes to A clients.
If you learn to do this, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to run your firm. You’ll find that profits soar while you stop doing one off planning engagements. It makes life much easier for you and it might even help avoid experiencing burnout. All good things in my book.
Be disciplined in your process and write it down.
This is never fun. I love to dream up new ways of doing things. I hate to write them down. Writing processes down and making them into workflows is boring. It takes time and you have to think of every step along the way.
That’s the point. You want your process to be repeatable. You want your process adopted by everyone in your firm. You want to get the same type of great client over and over. Without a process, this just won’t happen.
This sounds like too much work.
I know this sounds like an awful lot of work. Don’t let it get you down. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your client attraction process. Make a project out of this. If it takes you a year, that’s OK. If you think this is a top priority, then plan to spend an hour or two a week working on it. In either case, at the end this project you’ll have a system that will bring you great clients. And, that’s what we all want.